Clyde A. Brannan
“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein” (Isa. 35:8).
There should be no contention made for any way other than that which the apostles and inspired witnesses gave us. “According as his divine power hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3).
We know that the world is lost and needs salvation. In John 3:16-17, we read,
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
In Romans 3:23 we find that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Christ came in behalf of all men. It was he, who showed us the way of truth. We learn in Hebrews 2:9 that Jesus was to taste death for every man. We note in 1 John 2:2 that Christ is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. He gave himself a ransom for all. Therefore, the gospel is for all. In Mark 16:16 we see that it is for all—for it states “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” Thus we see salvation—or the way of life—is to all who will meet the conditions. Everyone is included.
The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believeth (Rom. 1:16). The Gospel was revealed and confirmed by the Spirit.
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into (1 Pet. 1:12).
We are not influenced by any direct operation on us. The word produces faith. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Faith is evidenced by our works. “Even so faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone”…“But wilt thou know, 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead?”… “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (Jas. 2:17, 20, 26). One who will not do the works required by the Lord, has not sufficient faith to be saved. He does not find the way because he is not following the instructions of the leader, Jesus Christ.
We learn the Way from the Bible. There is no other source of information pertaining to the Way other than the Bible. It is an all sufficient guide in religious faith and practice. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Hence we must reject all human creeds and rules prepared by uninspired men, and find the Way from the Bible only. In Matthew 15:9 Jesus said “But in vain do they worship me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.” He said the precepts of men constitute vain worship. We know, therefore, that vain worship cannot please God, nor save man.
Sinners must believe the Gospel, repent, confess Christ (not man) and be baptized in order to be saved, or forgiven, of their sins. The following steps are given in the order in which they must be obeyed, so as to put one into the plain way:
1. One must hear the gospel. “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).
2. One must believe the Gospel. “He that believeth shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).
3. One must repent of his sins. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). “I tell you, nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
4. One must confess Christ.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God bath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom. 10:9-10).
5. One then must be baptized. As already quoted from Mark 16:16, we find that one must be baptized in order to receive salvation. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).
We have examples where many have taken these five steps and have walked in the way that leadeth to everlasting life. This way described is a way of holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but the redeemed shall walk through. The way is so plain that wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. Jesus said “I am the way.” Then we see that only those who come through Jesus can enter the way. The redemptive work of Jesus can bring sinful men into fellowship with God. The plan for getting into the way of truth is to be made known by preaching. “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:21).
We must believe the truth which is taught in Romans 1:16. No promise of salvation is given to disbelievers. Without belief we cannot take the preceding steps outlined for the sinner to get into the way.
The following are some of the examples, outlined in the Book of Acts of the Apostles, where certain persons got into the way of truth:
1. In Acts Chapter 2, Peter preached the first gospel sermon and 3,000 obeyed that truth and were baptized—hence added to the church.
2. In Samaria (Acts 8) Philip preached Christ and they believed Philip’s preaching and were baptized, both men and women.
3. The man of Ethiopia heard Philip preach and as a result of his preaching was baptized into Jesus—entered the way of truth.
4. In Acts 10:34 Peter preached to Cornelius (a very willing subject) and his household. The result of this sermon was baptism also.
5. In Philippi, Paul preached to the women. Lydia was baptized.
6. Paul and Silas preached unto the jailer and those who were in his house; they were baptized. (Acts 16:32-33.)
7. Paul preached that Jesus is Christ, testified and taught, while in Corinth, and many hearing, believed and were baptized. (Acts 18:8.)
May those who are not yet in the way of truth follow these simple examples outlined above to get into the way. Then let us all strive to follow this way and be led to an eternal home with Jesus, and all of the glories of heaven.